A new study examining HIV in people who inject drugs found interventions increased use of antiretroviral medication.
People who inject drugs (PWID) are a critical population that are at a higher risk of being infected with HIV. According to the CDC, HIV can survive in a used needle for up to 42 days, depending on temperatures and other factors.
In a new study, which focused on the PWID population in multiple study sites, investigators used intervention programs where participants received referrals for HIV management and medication along with harm-reduction packages, HIV testing and counseling, referrals for antiretroviral therapy, and eduation about basic HIV treatment in an effort to improve patient outcomes. The investigators concluded that the interventions actually increased use of antiretroviral (ART) medication use by 30%.
The investigators set out to create a low-cost effective program that could ramp up efforts to improve the worldwide health of people with HIV who inject drugs, including those living in areas that lack resources. The study sites included Kyiv, Ukraine (1 community site), Thai Nguyen, Vietnam (2 district health center sites), and Jakarta, Indonesia (1 hospital site). These areas were selected on the basis of ongoing HIV epidemics among PWID in regions with high HIV prevalence and/or incidence.
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